Latest articles

Replacing the parts in ag

The ag industry needs a continuous supply of young people to take part

Agriculture is a machine in constant need of new parts. Its oil needs changing every few years. Its chains are working but worn. Its bearings could stand to be repacked. It’s an industry that needs to be as sharp as it can be. And it’s an industry that is only as strong as the people […] Read more

What exactly is sustainability?

There are many ways to farm sustainably, and many ways to discuss the issue

A lot of recent farm press talks about sustainability. When I look up “sustainable” in Webster’s it says: ‘… a method of harvesting or using a resource so that resource is not depleted or permanently damaged…” The first time I remember that term used with respect to agriculture was when a respected farmer on Sceptre […] Read more

Taking steps to prevent slips, trips and falls on the farm

“In theory the prevention of falls is simple. Nearly all falls result from conditions or practices whose hazard is obvious or readily discoverable. In practice, however, prevention is difficult because the detail involved is very great and it is necessary to improve the performance of practically everyone.” —From Safety Subjects, U.S. Division of Labour Standards, […] Read more

Armchair critic strikes again

Lee Hart can find something to natter about on just about every news page

It is almost impossible for me to listen to a news broadcast or skim through any “news” publications without having a million comments. Three of my most frequent observations: “boy that’s stupid” or “some people need to get a life” or “wow, that’s new to me!” In the Calgary news lately, a group of naturists […] Read more

Farm Financial Planner: Purchasing the family farm

Three sons want to buy the family farm. Purchase costs could ruin the plan

A couple we’ll call Jack and Terri, both 63, have farmed in south central Manitoba for the last four decades. Their farm started with 320 acres; now it’s 600 acres of grain with modest profits. The problem? How Jack and Terri can migrate to retirement while accommodating their three sons’ wishes to follow Mom and […] Read more

Medicago sativa in bloom (Alfalfa)

Successful forage establishment

Q & A with CPS

Q: What are the top factors for successful forage establishment? A: To grow a productive forage crop, consider important factors like soil, weeds, previous crop and herbicide residues. Identify and consider the impact of soil factors like flooding, drainage, low pH (acidity), texture and salinity that may impede establishment, productivity or species/variety selection. Control winter annual, biennial […] Read more

Attitude and the senior farmer

A safety audit of your farm is a great step to determine its current situation

Senior farmers have experience in spades. You have seen it all. Good years, great yields, good(ish) prices. Bad years, terrible yields, awful prices. You can probably fix it all. (Almost – some of that new equipment has many computer components.) You know your land like the back of your hand. What about physical capability? Is […] Read more

A review of the market fundamentals

Back to basics — the rudiments, the essentials and the nitty gritty details of fundamentals

When talking about markets you always hear the terms technicals and fundamentals. “Technicals” refers primarily to the historical and present day charting information for a commodity. This includes examining all of the formations, trend lines, etc., to determine where futures prices are going. “Fundamentals” encompasses other aspects that can influence markets — such as politics, currencies, […] Read more

Reporter’s Notebook: The other side of ranching

A new book focuses on the role of women in Alberta’s ranching history

In a recent column on clubroot, I suggested that Sask Crop Insurance look at a carrot-and-stick policy to crop rotations in the province. Later, I was a little worried some might interpret that part of the column as me shaking my finger at farmers with tight rotations. That wasn’t my intention. There are plenty of […] Read more